Opportunity for Victorian ECEC services to be recognised for multicultural excellence
Nominations for the 2020 Victorian Multicultural Awards for Excellence are now open, affording an opportunity for Victorian early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to showcase their efforts in strengthening multiculturalism and supporting Victorians of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds to participate in all aspects of life.
Presented by the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) on behalf of the Victorian Government, the annual awards have seven new categories in 2020 to reflect the many fields where diversity is being embraced throughout the state.
The Multicultural Education Awards represent one of the 15 categories in the broader Awards series, recognising the achievements of four recipients, one from each of the following sub-categories:
- Early childhood education
- School education
- Vocational Education and Training – pre-accredited community-based training
- Vocational Education and Training – accredited training.
Co-ordinated and judged by the Department of Education and Training, the sub-category is open to early childhood services, schools, vocational education and training services and not-for-profit organisations that use innovative and collaborative approaches to improve outcomes for Victorians from CALD communities and celebrate cultural diversity.
The 2019 early childhood education education winner was VICSEG New Futures Learning Together program, which addresses barriers to learning English for over 300 parents and 500 young Victorian children each year.
Delivered with support from local primary schools and settlement services, the program provides a supported learning environment, combining a pre-accredited English literacy course for parents, on-site childcare and playgroup activities for parents and children to enjoy together.
In their role as their child’s first teacher, parents are encouraged to embed a strong connection with their child’s home culture and ‘mother tongue’, while simultaneously learning more English language words and concepts alongside their young child.
Parents are shown a range of creative and fun ways to enhance their children’s bilingual oral language development through songs, rhymes and games, as well as reading and stories. The program uses a strength-based approach to engage parents and children and is effective in supporting parents to read to their child in both English and their home language.
Learning Together has been found to have overwhelming positive outcomes for both parents and young children. The program has successfully engaged parents from a range of different cultural and language backgrounds and has proved equally valuable across all participating communities.
Victorians can be nominated for either paid or voluntary work across 15 categories:
- Premier’s Award for Community Harmony
- Business Award
- Education and Early Childhood Award
- Community Innovation Award
- Local Government Award
- Media Award
- Police Awards
- Youth Leadership Award
The seven new categories, introduced in 2020 to honour even more Victorians who have championed diversity across society, are:
- Refugee Advocacy Award
- Sport Award
- Arts Award
- Health Award
- Justice Award
- Emergency Services Award
- Community Response and Recovery Award
“If you know a person, group or organisation that promotes diversity and has supported multicultural communities in a significant way, I encourage you to nominate them for an award,”Victorian Multicultural Commission Chairperson Vivienne Nguyen said.
Nominations close 11:59pm on Sunday 11 October 2020, with Award recipients to be honoured during an online ceremony later in the year. For more information, or to nominate, please see here.